by Jan Baughman
(Swans - December 18, 2006) It's like Review 2005, or 2004, or 2003, or 2002, or whichever version -- I could go back to the year in which I opened my eyes to the stalemate that so many of us have been pinned down by from time immemorial. We keep dissenting war, complaining about social policies, lamenting the decline, yet still hoping for the best. What we get in return, and perhaps what we deserve for our actions and inactions that perpetuate the status quo, is what has gone on time and again: Either Tweedledee or Tweedledum is leading us further down a path we would not choose for ourselves, all the while demolishing the hard-won checks, balances, protections, civil liberties, equal rights, and freedoms that our predecessors gave their lives for and entrusted future generations to take care of and nurture. We are failing miserably to uphold their legacies.
Whether it's Democrats or Republicans at the helm, the trend continues. We move from war to war; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer; and we keep bemoaning...and keep bringing the same wealthy, pro-war, pro-business establishment to power every two years. Dissenters fight among themselves over the number of revolutionary angels on the head of a pin, advocating their own fundamentalist views that compete with the latest Bush fundamentalism, without offering any solutions that are both workable and acceptable to people like you and me -- you know, the type of "radicals" that really think about peace and justice in a practical frame of mind. People like me, who came from a working class family and grew up in a society that allowed me the opportunity to advance in life, to afford an education and make a way for myself, in spite of not having a family name that opened doors, neither to the best colleges nor the lofty career.
"But wait," you might be thinking, "we've changed the course by voting the Republicans out of power." We'll know soon enough -- I'll eat my words next year if I'm proven wrong -- but here's an early 2007 prediction: It won't take long for the status quo to emerge from the aftermath of the 2006 midterm elections and insert itself into the 2008 campaign. But I'm not interested in watching and waiting. It's about time that we -- the little people -- men and women, but especially women -- take it into our own hands to shape the future the way we want it to be.
So I for one at Swans want to see our collective work -- for which we sacrifice in time, money, and health -- become more real and directed toward the issues that affect the lives of our sisters and brothers in this country and all over the world. What 2006, and 2005, and 2004, and on and on for as long as I can remember have taught me is that we need to be creative enough in thoughts and practical policies to solve the problems of our epoch in order to thwart the true radicals who inhabit the corridors of power in Washington D.C. and state capitols. We do not expect to make big waves, but we want to add a few droplets to the source of life.
Trying to solve problems using the tools, techniques, and thoughts that create them is silly.
In summary, change is not something that has happened in 2006 except for the fact that we are being washed further down the drain, now with Tweedledum at the helm of the ship. Can we help change the course? I hope that people will join us. Who knows, maybe a few Democrats and Republicans will jump on board, and perhaps a year from now my year-end review will show a few positive developments, which are direly needed.
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